On a cold, windy night at Lake Shore High School, the Warren De La Salle Pilots (9-2) took the field in front of a wound up home crowd that seemed confident they'd walk away with a victory.
On the other side stood the Cass Tech Technicians (8-3) whom seemingly everyone had written off after coming out of the gate rather slowly to start the season.
The battle of Michigan commitments began with Cass Tech stalling De La Salle's offense lead by Scout.com five-star 2013 QB Shane Morris.
The technician defense, with senior CB Terry Richardson and LB Royce Jenkins-Stone, kept Morris in check all game with the future Wolverine QB finishing the night just 4-17 passing for 27 yards and two interceptions.
On offense Cass Tech was lead by freshman quarterback Jayru Campbell who played like a true veteran all night long. It's clear Head Coach Thomas Wilcher's strategy worked perfectly for the technicians, running the ball up the middle with Jenkins-Stone and in a way lulling the De La Salle defense to sleep.
Once the pilots respected Cass Tech's rushing attack it was time for the freshman to connect down the field with his speedy receivers. Campbell finished the night 8 for 16 passing for 143 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Cass Tech and De La Salle both missed field goals in the first half with the wind appearing to play a major factor in the kicking game, that left the score 0-0 at the half.
The third quarter remained scoreless as both teams moved the ball sparingly with neither team threatening inside the red zone.
Then Cass Tech began a drive on their own 12-yard line heading into the fourth quarter.
This drive for the Technicians proved to be the difference in the 0-0 game. It was a long, 22 play, 88-yard drive that ultimately lead to the go-ahead and only touchdown of the game, and took up 10:53 of game clock. Campbell utilized Jenkins-Stone up the middle, converting two fourth downs -- while also keeping DLS' Morris off the field.
On the final play of the drive and with a minute and a half left in the game, Jenkins-Stone burst up the middle and into the end zone giving Cass Tech a 6-0 lead. The technicians had the extra point blocked leaving Morris with a minute and a half to get De La Salle into the end zone.
But the Cass Tech pressure didn't let up, ultimately forcing De La Salle into a 4th and 18 from their own 27-yard line with just 53 seconds left to play.
Morris's pass went incomplete, and with two kneel downs Cass Tech walked away with a 6-0 victory and a regional championship.
A physical and fast Cass Tech defense now advances to the state semifinals for a match-up next week with Utica Eisenhower who boasts a dominant defense of their own.
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine.com this week for interviews with Terry Richardson and Royce Jenkins-Stone, as well as highlights from last night's game.
Cass Tech/De La Salle game recap
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